What's worse than TB district? The Cicero Township School Treasurer, of course

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Dan Haley

Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:

If you were sitting around trying to invent the most worthless level of government, you still wouldn't come up with the Cicero Township School Treasurer's Office. This is a real thing. It has elections?#34;in fact, we just had one early in April. It collects money from the school districts it represents and wants to increase its budget by 19 percent this year. There's an office somewhere in Cicero and the head guy, Martin O'Connor, will crack six figures if the budget passes. All the money you pay in property taxes to District 97 and OPRF High School first flows through this office for them to invest. And?#34;something I just found out this spring?#34;the township trustee of schools actually holds the title to our school buildings.

Why does it exist? Because it exists, that's why! And so, as long as it exists, Oak Park had better have a seat on the three-member elected board. That's what the fine and good Bill Sullivan said just before we elected him April 5. Suppose he's right.

It's just that the powers that be at OPRF, where Sullivan is prez of the alumni group, hate this pitiful little body and are determined to see it abolished. Fat chance. What elected or appointed officials would want to abolish something that has millions of bucks to spread around to friendly banks and has a job to hand out that pays $100K?

In true stick-in-the-eye fashion, one of the line items in the school treasurer's office that is proposed to jump this year is legal fees. That's so they can defend themselves against OPRF's attempts to extricate itself from this legal shell game.

So, if your money was on the Cook County TB District or the Mosquito Abatement District as most infuriating place to waste the money you work hard for, remember there's a new worst government entity in our sites.

Believe it or not: The White Sox have the best record in baseball. This makes me happy. I know the potential for great sadness is just ahead. ... Barrie Park is going to re-open in whole or part during May. Of 2005.  ... River Forest's newly reopened Keystone Park is a fine thing. While they didn't have coal tar to worry about, their project seemed to take about as long as Barrie. But it is a good-looking park. ... Racing to get construction started on the new public works center on South Boulevard just so the village can maximize the insurance payout on last year's fire may be necessary, but this rush is going to cause complications on some front before this project is complete.

... Don't know who President-elect David Pope and his newly constituted village board will choose as the added trustee, but they sure don't need any more white guys on this board. ... Tim Kelly, the outgoing president of the Oak Park park board, takes a gently, pointed shot at the outgoing Oak Park village board when he talks about tax referendum voters recognizing the park district's "patient" and "open" government processes. He's right, of course. Now we'll see if the park board is as good with a few nickels to rub together as they were when they were broke.

... Speaking of nickels, am I the last one to notice the new nickels with the stepped up profile of Thomas Jefferson?  Very handsome. ... People in Oak Park with Corinthian columns holding up their front porches will only be allowed to have two cats according to a new ordinance being considered. People with three or more outstanding parking tickets will have their cats confiscated. Tough time to be a cat in Oak Park.

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